The Effect of Feed Additive Containing Vitamins and Trace Elements on the Elements Profile and Growth of Skin Derivatives in Horses
An important role of nutritional supplements in the quality and growth of skin derivatives is not sufficiently explored. The aim of our experiment was to recognize how the application of selected vitamins and an organic source of zinc and copper affects the growth and elemental content of hooves and hairs. Sixteen warm-blooded horses were divided into two groups. Both groups received the same basic feeding ration, which was enriched with a feed additive for the experimental group. The contents of individual elements in hoof and hair samples were established using the atomic absorption spectrometry method. Samples from the experimental group of horses showed a significantly increased amount of zinc (P<0.01), copper and manganese (P<0.05) deposited in the hoof and a significantly decreased (P<0.05) amount of manganese, iron, and calcium deposited in the hair after nine months of monitoring. Differences between initial and final samples of hooves and hair were insignificant in the control group. The growth rate of hair and hoof wall was significantly higher (P<0.01) in horses from the experimental group than from the control one. Horses receiving the feed additive achieved a faster growth of the hoof horn with an adequate quality of hooves in our experiment. The experiment shows that the hair is not a reliable indicator of nutritional status of horses. However, assessing the impact of individual vitamins and trace elements, or the impact of various sources of trace elements on the elements profile and growth rate of skin derivatives of horses should be subject to further observation.
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